Battle of Caving Banks

The Oklahoma Portal

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Oklahoma (/ˌkləˈhmə/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by the state of Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the 50 United States. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially, "Okies"), and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907.

With ancient mountain ranges, prairie, mesas, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains, Cross Timbers, and the U.S. Interior Highlands, all regions prone to severe weather. Oklahoma is on a confluence of three major American cultural regions and historically served as a route for cattle drives, a destination for Southern settlers, and a government-sanctioned territory for Native Americans. Twenty-five Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma.

A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas.

Selected article

The Outsiders is a novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking Press. Hinton was 15 when she began writing the novel and 18 when it was published. The Outsiders is an account of a traumatic time in the life of fourteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis. Hinton explores the themes of class conflict, brotherly love, friendship, and coming of age by following two rival gangs, the Greasers and the Socs(pronounced "soashes"short for "Socials"), who are separated by social-economic status and political beliefs.

The main characters in The Outsiders are Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade, Dallas "Dally" Winston, Darrel "Darry" Curtis, Sodapop Curtis, Keith "Two-Bit" Mathews, and Steve Randle, a gang of Greasers in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The story is narrated by Ponyboy, younger brother of both Sodapop and Darrel, or Darry. The three boys are orphaned after a car accident that kills their parents. Darry assumes the parental role to keep them from getting sent to different homes. Darry feels overly burdened and cannot provide all of the things they need. Although he is smart, he didn't pursue college so he could get a job and provide food for the other two boys, Sodapop and Ponyboy. Sodapop dropped out of high school in favor of employment. (Read more . . . )

Spotlight city

Fall Festival Sept. 2007.jpg

Coweta is the largest city in Wagoner County, Oklahoma and is a suburb of Tulsa. The population was 8,352 at the 2005 census.

Before statehood, when the Five Tribes or Five Civilized Tribes were moved to Oklahoma from the Eastern United States, the area that is now Coweta became part of the Creek Nation. Coweta was first settled about 1840, after the Creek War, and named for a Creek (Native American) town on the Chattahoochee River in southwestern Georgia. In 1843 Robert Loughridge arrived in the area and established a mission, named "Koweta". In 1867 after the Civil War, the Creek Indians adopted a constitution which divided their nation into six districts. Everything northeast of the Arkansas River, including Tulsa, became the Coweta district. The political center of this district was located in a log courthouse on Coweta Creek, about a quarter-mile west from the modern-day center of the downtown Coweta. The Post Office was established on May 24, 1897, and took its name from Koweta Mission. (Read more...)

Selected image

American bison k5680-1.jpg
Credit: Jack Dykinga
Oklahoma's state mammal, the American Bison.

Did you know...

Oklahoma State Highway 66.svg
  • ...that Tulsa is often considered the birthplace of U.S. Route 66?
  • ...that Oklahoma has the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 in the nation?
  • ...that in 1927, Oklahoma businessman Cyrus Avery, known the "Father of Route 66," proposed using an existing stretch of highway from Amarillo, Texas to Tulsa for the original portion of Highway 66?
  • ...that Oklahoman Cyrus Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association, the organization that oversaw the planning and creation of Route 66, and he placed the organization's headquarters in Tulsa?

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The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird

Selected biography

Mickey Mantle 1953.jpg

Mickey Charles Mantle was born October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, Mantle was an American baseball player who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. He played his entire 18-year major-league professional career for the New York Yankees, winning 3 American League MVP titles and playing for 16 All-Star teams. Mantle played on 12 pennant winners and 7 World Championship clubs. He still holds the records for most World Series home runs (18), RBIs (40), runs (42), walks (43), extra-base hits (26), and total bases (123).

Mickey had played shortstop in the minor leagues. His first semi-professional team was the Baxter Springs (Kan.) Whiz Kids. In 1948, Yankees' scout Tom Greenwade came to Baxter Springs to watch Mickey's teammate, third baseman Billy Johnson, in a Whiz Kids game. During the game Mickey hit two homers, one righty and one lefty, into a river well past the ballpark's fences. Greenwade wanted to sign Mickey on the spot but, upon finding out that he was only 16 and still in high school, told him he would come back to sign him with the Yankees on his graduation day in 1949. Good to his word, Greenwade was there right on schedule, signing Mickey to a minor-league contract with the Yankees Class D team in Independence, Kan. Mickey signed for $400 to play the remainder of the season with an $1,100 signing bonus. Tom Greenwade was quoted in the press release announcing Mickey's signing as saying that Mickey was the best prospect he'd ever seen. Because of his blinding speed, he was dubbed "The Commerce Comet." (Read more...)

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